Elektra Micro Casa vs Semi Automatica: Which is Better?
Do you want an espresso machine that will amaze anyone who sees it? Are you looking for an espresso machine that isn’t just an appliance, but is also a work of art?
If you answered yes to either (or even both) of those questions, what you’re likely looking for is an Elektra espresso machine. This manufacturer makes some of the best-looking espresso machines on the market today, and any of them could be a centerpiece.
In this post, we’ll be putting two of their models, the Elektra Micro Casa vs Semi Automatica, in a head-to-head comparison. That way, if you’re torn between them, you’ll have a better idea of which one to choose.
Here is what you’ll learn:
- What these two beautiful espresso machines have in common.
- Features that only one or the other have.
- Pricing information.
- Which considerations to make before choosing one.
Let’s dive right in.
The Elektra Micro Casa is easily one of the most stunning espresso machines available today. With a gorgeous, gleaming metallic exterior and wooden handles, this is one machine you’ll love having out on your counter. Due to its manual operation, it can be challenging to use, and we recommend it for at-home espresso enthusiasts who want a traditional drink-making experience.
Like the Micro Casa, the Semi Automatica version has a polished look that it can call all its own. However, it takes the basics from the Micro Casa and makes them easier with its addition of a semiautomatic pump system. Because it is slightly easier, we’d say it’s suitable for home baristas and small specialty coffee shops.
Multiple Color Options
A machine as elegantly designed as these Elektra ones will look stunning in any color. However, due to the fact that they’re both available in multiple colors, you have some choice in how your espresso machine will look.
There is one distinction that needs to be made: the Micro Casa is available in one more color than the Semi Automatica. That means we have it in a total of three colors: copper and brass, chrome and brass, and chrome.
On the other hand, the Semi Automatica is only available in either copper and brass or chrome.
Related Article: Best Espresso Machines with Eagle on Top
One thing Elektra espresso machines are best known for is the exquisitely rendered eagle perched on top. You’ll see the eagle on both the Micro Casa and Semi Automatica. It has its wings outspread and conveys a feeling of refinement and majesty.
It won’t have any real impact on your use of either espresso machine. Regardless, it’s a nice touch that sets them apart from many other competitors. First impressions matter, and these machines will always make a memorable one.
Water Level Sight Glass
Espresso machines need water to operate. If you run them while the boiler is empty, you risk damaging them and, of course, being incapable of making any espresso.
Because of its importance, you need to be certain that there is water in your espresso machine at all times. In pour-over machines like the Micro Casa and Semi Automatica, which don’t refill themselves automatically, you’ll have to monitor this yourself.
Fortunately, it’s simple with either of these espresso machines. They both have a water level sight glass conveniently positioned beneath the pressure gauge. Determining how much water is left is as simple as taking a quick look at the front of the machine.
Elektra prides themselves on avoiding the use of cheap plastics in their artisan espresso machines. The parts are generally made from the sturdiest premium materials, including the boilers in the Micro Casa and Semi Automatica.
Specifically, their boilers are made from brass. This helps promote the longevity of either espresso machine and generates silky milk foam time after time.
Read Also: Best Home Espresso Machines Under $2,000
Looking at the Micro Casa and Semi Automatica, you might be worried that you’d have to struggle to assemble either one upon receiving them. On the surface, they look so complex, after all.
The good news is that this isn’t true at all. In fact, setup for either Elektra espresso machine is amazingly simple: just attach the steam wand. Then you’ll be ready to start brewing.
Boiler Pressure Relief Valve
Any barista knows that a certain amount of pressure is required to brew espresso properly. Without adequate pressure, the water coming from the machine would struggle to penetrate packed espresso grounds.
But with pressure comes great responsibility, since it can quickly become dangerous. That’s why the Micro Casa and Semi Automatica have built-in boiler pressure relief valves.
The relief valves prevent the boiler’s pressure from rising to dangerous levels. This protects your espresso machine from harm.
In terms of depth and width, the Micro Casa and Semi Automatica are exactly the same. Their only real difference when it comes to dimensions is how tall they are.
The Mico Casa is 19 inches tall and the Semi Automatica is 23 inches tall. It’s not necessarily a huge difference, but it does mean the Semi Automatica takes up a few more inches of vertical space than the Micro Casa.
So if you’re looking for an espresso machine that might be able to fit underneath cabinets better, you may prefer the Micro Casa.
Read Also: Best Manual Commercial Espresso Machines
A boiler is the heart of every espresso machine. Boilers provide water pressure for brewing and for steaming, two integral functions necessary to producing espresso-based drinks.
It’s not surprising that a boiler’s capacity is so important. As a rule of thumb, larger boilers tend to be more powerful, capable of brewing and steaming more quickly than smaller ones.
There isn’t much of a difference between the boilers in the Micro Casa and Semi Automatica, but we thought it was still worth pointing out. The Micro Casa’s boiler holds 1.8 liters, and the Semi Automatica’s holds 2 liters exactly.
Fully Manual vs Semiautomatic
One of the greatest differences between these Elektra machines is their basic machine type. Unsurprisingly, the Semi Automatica is a semiautomatic espresso machine and the Micro Casa is a fully manual one.
Fully manual espresso machines are rare these days. You’ll almost never see them in a commercial setting because they’re significantly slower than their semiautomatic and automatic counterparts.
To brew on a manual machine, baristas must gradually pull a lever down to activate the piston inside the machine and extract the espresso. This method takes a huge amount of skill and knowledge, but it looks impressive when done properly.
It’s much easier and quicker to use the Semi Automatica because there’s less room for error. Like with other semiautomatic espresso machines, all you need to do is start and end the brewing cycle. No need to generate pressure yourself by pulling a lever.
Read Also: Best Semiautomatic Espresso Machines
Elektra Micro Casa Safety Thermostat
Sometimes, you just forget to turn an appliance off. If you’ve had a rough day or you’re in a hurry, it’s natural that some things will slip from your mind.
The problem with leaving an espresso machine on, though, is that it can run out of water and then get damaged from running on empty. Luckily, the Micro Casa has a failsafe that prevents this from happening: a safety-thermostat that will protect the machine from a meltdown if it’s left running without water for long.
Elektra Micro Casa Semi Automatica 3-Way Solenoid Valve
If you have a lot of experience making espresso on an espresso machine, then you’ve probably experienced the pain of wet espresso grounds on your skin at least once. Pressure is necessary to properly extract espress, and when you first remove the portafilter from the brew group, that pent-up pressure can cause the grounds to splatter on you.
Well, these espresso ground burns are nothing but a distant memory on the Semi Automatica. Its three-way solenoid valve will depressurize the portafilter for you, protecting you from those painful splatters.
Elektra Micro Casa Semi Automatica Extended Steam Wand
Although it looks undeniably refined, the metallic exteriors of the Micro Casa and Semi Automatica have one flaw: they get really hot while the machine is in use. Accidentally brushing up on them as you froth milk or extract espresso can reward you with an unpleasant burn.
Unfortunately, you’re required to get up close and personal with the hot machine when you’re steaming milk for a latte or cappuccino. The Semi Automatica has a solution to this dilemma: an extended steam wand.
The risk of brushing up against the machine while you froth your milk is drastically reduced. You can therefore froth your milk in total comfort.
Elektra Micro Casa Semi Automatica Bakelite Handle
The Elektra Micro Casa Semi Automatica features another update to the Micro Casa design: a bakelite portafilter handle as opposed to wood.
Like with visual differences, the bakelite handle may not make a world of difference in your espresso brewing. However, it is incredibly durable and lightweight, so the handle may feel better in your hand.
Majesty Coffee’s goal is to bring you the most competitive prices online for our espresso machines.
In our store, we have the Elektra Micro Casa in copper and brass for $1,695, in chrome and brass for $1,695, and in just chrome for $1,695. The Elektra Micro Casa Semi Automtica is in our store for $2,258 in either chrome or copper and brass.
So, Which is Better?
Either the Elektra Micro Casa or Semi Automatica would work well in a high-end home looking for a luxurious espresso machine. To choose the one that’s right better for you specifically, look at your budget, preferences, and experience level.
The Micro Casa is a fully manual espresso machine. You will need to personally pull the lever on it to generate the correct amount of pressure, which takes skill. That’s what makes it perfect for home baristas who want a challenge.
But if you’re looking for something that’s easier to use, go for the Semi Automatica. You will not have to generate the pressure yourself during extraction.
The additional safety features on the Semi Automatica also contribute to its user-friendliness. Its solenoid valve and extended steam wand will both work to protect you from burns.
You can also look at their prices. Because it is several hundred dollars less, the Elektra Micro Casa may be preferable for those on a budget.
Here’s the bottom line:
Get the Elektra Micro Casa if you want a traditional espresso machine for your home. Because it’s manual, it’s a bit too slow to be in a coffee shop setting.
However, the Elektra Micro Casa Semi Automatica could be the pick for you if you want something a bit faster and more user-friendly. Get if you’re a beginner or a small specialty coffee shop that wants a unique espresso machine.